Rosemary Ruether

Rosemary Radford Ruether (born 1936) is an American feminist scholar and theologian.

Bio from Wikipedia, 1/10/2012


Rosemary RuetherRuether was born in 1936 in St. Paul, Minnesota, to a Roman Catholic mother and Episcopal father. She has reportedly described her upbringing as free-thinking and humanistic as opposed to oppressive. Ruether’s father died when she was 12 and afterwards Ruether and her mother moved to California.

She is married to the political scientist Herman Ruether. They have three children and live in California.

Academic Activities

Ruether holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Scripps College (1958), an M.A. in Ancient History (1960) and a Ph.D. in Classics and Patristics (1965) from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California.

She currently is Visiting Professor of Feminist Theology at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. She formerly was Carpenter Professor of Feminist Theology at the Pacific School of Religion and Graduate Theological Union, and also taught at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Ruether is the author of many books on feminism, the Bible and Christianity.

She has for thirty years been considered a pioneer in the area of feminist theology in North America, with a particular focus in modern feminist theology and liberation theology, especially in Palestine and Latin America. She has also been an outspoken critic of war since the Vietnam era and continues this work today.


Ruether describes herself as an “ecofeminist” and has referred to God in the feminine as “Gaia” (however, she noted in July 2008 that a critic “accused me of teaching that ‘God is Gaia,’ a view which I do not take” ). Ruether is an advocate of women’s ordination. In 1984 she was one of 97 theologians and religious persons who signed A Catholic Statement on Pluralism and Abortion, calling for religious pluralism and discussion within the Catholic Church regarding the Church’s position on abortion.[5] Since 1985 Ruether has served as a board member for the pro-choice group “Catholics for Choice” (CFC).

In 2005 Ruether explained to an audience at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles her view that “Christianity is riddled by hierarchy and patriarchy”. This created a social order in which chaste women on their wedding night were “in effect, raped by young husbands whose previous sexual experience came from exploitative relationships with servant women and prostitutes. . . . Modern societies have sought to change this situation, allowing women education, legal autonomy, paid employment and personal freedom. But the sexual morality of traditional puritanical patriarchal Christianity has never been adequately rethought.”

She is a signatory to the 2004 9/11 Truth Statement, which called for a “Deeper Investigation into the Events of 9/11”.